Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Walter Raleigh, Feb 10, 2019.
What were the greatest ECs you ever saw an applicant have?
saw a guy with a MacArthur genius grant once but wasn’t too impressed. Didn’t seem like that big a deal
A lot of you youngsters are thinking too deep into the “greatest EC’s” to get into medical school. You do realize that if someone had some of the spectacular accomplishments you are looking for, those people wouldn’t be going to medical school and would be doing other things that have better payoffs.
I went to high school with a guy who was brilliant in AP biology and chemistry, had an SAT in the 1500 range, and graduated with a 4.6 and was top 10 in our class. He was also a two-sport varsity athlete with All-State honors and was scouted by the Yankees. What did he do? He played baseball at Boston College on a full ride and was drafted by the Giants. No medical school for him even though he would have been a shoo-in had he gone down the academic route.
Medical schools are not looking for the most talented members of society. Medical schools want really good students who just so happen to actually want to go to medical school and become doctors. The greatest EC’s in a med school applicant will pale in comparison to what some others will have.
Greatest pre-med EC I saw was a student that went back to her home country, very impoverished and corrupt. 14-15 gap years, built a hospital, several clinics, was a government higher up in the public health department, and then came to the US for a medical degree. I'm not joking nor am I exaggerating any detail.
I’ll send you my app.
I think I've mentioned this in the past: circumnavigated the North American continent as an officer in a nuclear submarine. Unusual (not cookie cutter)... evidence of leadership and service.
This is a great example. In a similar case I would say someone with that type of talent would be wasting their time going to medical school where they would end up making a much smaller difference in the world compared to doing something much greater where they could have an effect on many more lives.
Olympic athlete, medalist.
Single mom who took 8 years to get her bachelors after her husband died while pregnant with twins. She couldn’t afford childcare so took her two kids to every exam/quiz day and self Studied in between. Graduated with a 4.0, squeezed shadowing in when her parents came to visit every now and then.
Not a very traditional EC and maybe not something to list as an EC....But a hell of an accomplishment.
I have no idea how people with kids go to college. Especially single parents. Absolutely brilliant.
True story: A well-respected entomology professor I know was accepted to Harvard med school post-PhD. At the time they had some crazy deal where if you already had a PhD you could skip the pre-clinical years and start school as an MS3. Based on her background the field she want to work in was insect-borne African diseases (think Malaria, etc.). Discussed with a mentor who said that although most doctors could easily pay off medical school debt the *exception* was infectious disease doctors working in underdeveloped parts of the world for very little pay. After deliberating the cost of just the 2 clinical years, she decided to turn down the position at Harvard med.
Fast forward a few months and the newest crop of MacArthur fellows included her. The first time I heard this story I thought the moral was, "See, I never needed to go to med school to be successful, glad I dodged that bullet!" But when I confided in her about myself considering a career change and going to med school, she explained that wasn't at all the point at all. The point was, the MacArthur funds come with no strings attached so when she heard the announcement she thought, "Now I actually have the money and could pay for med school, too bad I already turned them down." Despite her stellar scientific career since then, she still wonders what it would have been like if she'd become a medical doctor. She was incredibly kind and supportive of my own ambitions, even when I'm sure some others thought I was crazy to make the switch.
I mean, it is not good to turn down a medical school acceptance. However, she had an excellent reason for doing so, ECs for which "stellar" is an inadequate word to convey their rarity and impressiveness, and almost certainly an otherwise-superb application. Indeed, Harvard Med might accept her once more.
US Navy helicopter pilot
US Army medic
TV weather woman (this one turned out to be a terrible interviewee)
Silly Question: The Army puts out almost 7,000 medics every year (second highest MOS behind infantry). Do not many of them apply to medical school or...? What makes certain things impressive?
I am reminded of a quote from "The Princess Bride":
Vizzini: I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains.
Westley: You're that smart?
Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
Why are you so obsessed with the greatest ECs? You ask about it constantly in WAMC threads, and now start a thread in here about it.
99.9% of applications are not going to have have the "greatest ECs" and those ECs are not something most applicants would be able to achieve anyway. So what difference does it make? ECs like that are simply not needed. People get into top 5-10-20 med schools with good (not great) ECs all the time.
We rarely see medics apply here.
Your bolded is an excellent question. To me, these are accomplishments that are above and beyond what us lesser mortals do. I imagine that they're also impressive because of the discipline it takes for them to get to where they are.
She had this exaggerated affect to her. Think drama queen.
Television actress as a child,
Army airborne medic,
PA with multiple tours in Iraq,
Nationally ranked D 1 wrestler.
While it can seem overwhelming, for those of us with children I think we can honestly say we wouldn't have it any other way.
At this point she has been a tenured prof for decades, so probably not happening . Even back then, think of all the effort it takes to go through the whole application process and to know that you already turned down the opportunity that would have made the most sense if you were going to do it...plus, the MacArthur recognition almost certainly does mean that your current career is going well. I don't fault her making the decisions she did, and I really just appreciate her offering moral support and encouragement when I decided to go down this path.
I dunno, how good are the happy hour specials?
Solo win in Fortnite
Actually can’t believe I didn’t think of this, Jonathan Kim. Navy SEAL turned Harvard Med grad turned astronaut. Seriously.
You forgot graduating Summa Cum Laude in Math!
Secret agent space doctor? That is better than my theoretical plan of dual MD/JD and being a space Doctor Lawyer...
Not an adcom but I would guess veterans are high up on the totem pole due to the dedication and selflessness it takes to serve. The military also teaches life lessons that us civilian applicants might never learn.
Lots of threads on this already if you're interested in seeing other responses. There was one pretty recently about "most interesting jobs adcoms have ever seen" AdComs, what jobs you found impressive that one of your applicants/interviewees had?